Subject: Choose Wisely
JAX: Hello, Heroes, friends, family, players. Something we’ve tried to do here at Linear is keep in constant communication with you. We know what it’s like to feel like the game you love is made by people blind and def to your concerns and worries. Today I want to address some of your questions. Instead of having an AMA I’ve scoured the web over the past few days to learn what it is you want to know most. Let’s get to it, shall we?
#1 What’s going on in LBR?
This question is, by far, the question most asked. It’s also the most challenging to answer, because it means something different to everyone. For some of you it means “Where’d Lancer go? Why was he taken out of the game?” for others it means “Why are we being brought to planets on the brink of destruction?” and still others want to know “What’s this Resonance stuff all about?” And there’s a lot more people are wondering, but those three points: Lancer, the planets, and Resonance are the most discussed.
This is where my job as Community Advocate gets really, really hard. I do have the answers to all of those questions, at least…sort of. You might think, “That’s crap, you HAVE to have the answers, you work at Linear! And if you, JAX, don’t have them, then someone there does. All you have to do is walk over to Todd or Markus and ask them.” And that’s true, to a degree. But some of this stuff we don’t even have answers to. If you don’t believe me then I implore you to think of what we do (game development) as writing. Does the author know, exactly, what all of the characters in the book will do and say before the scenes and dialog is all written? No. The author might have a few ideas, might even have a lot of ideas, but as the book is written some of those ideas will work and some won’t. What we’re doing with LBR isn’t done in a vacuum. We pay attention to what works, what doesn’t, what you like, what you don’t. This game is a collaboration between what we want and what works. It’s ever evolving.
So, instead of giving you what almost surely will be read as ‘more corporate spin’ I’ll answer what I can as best I can in the way I think you want. But keep in mind we absolutely want to keep some surprises for you.
First: Why was Lancer taken out? Because he was played too much. He was overpowered. Let me state something that Markus has said time and time again. “We will never, ever, EVER nerf our Heroes. Or buff others—which is a backhanded way of doing the same thing. They’ll stay as-is or be removed wholesale.” Now you might be thinking, “Okay, what about Orphiel and Slinger? They weren’t broken in the least, why remove them?” That’s one of the surprises I can’t talk about.
Second: What’s the deal with the planets? Why are they always on the brink of destruction? Okay, so when we sat around talking about LBR we paid real close attention to what all the other big Battle Royales were doing and with almost no exception they all followed the exact same formula. 100 (give or take) players get dropped into a map, every five(ish) minutes the eye of some kind of ‘storm’ gets smaller forcing players ever closer to each other, last man (or team) standing wins. The thing we asked each other was “What the hell is that storm?” because it’s never explained. It’s just…there. We think that’s extremely lazy. Everything needs to have a reason if it’s in our game. Things don’t just happen…because reasons. And so we decided to try the planet idea. Now I will add one thing to that: there’s more to the destruction of the planets than we’ve let on thus far. There are clues to what I’m talking about in the game already.
Third: What’s this Resonance stuff all about? Now this is where I have to really watch my words. This is the paragraph that I’ll read and reread and dozen times, ask my colleagues if it’s okay, because the Resonance is key to a lot more than we’re ready to talk about. Here’s what I can say. Resonance is lot of things. Is Resonance a kind of currency? Yes. Is Resonance going to be used for anything? Yes, 100% yes. When will we know what Resonance is for? It has many uses, but you’ll learn about one today. I think this is about as much as I can say and remain safe.
And on that note I encourage you to log in and see what I’m talking about.
See you in-game, Heroes.
Ac1d logs in. A few friends have messages waiting for him, but after reading that update he’s curious to see what JAX is talking about. Assumes his friends will tell him a thing or two, but wants to see it for himself.
As soon as the game loads a notice pops up covering the typical main-menu screen. There’s an image of Lancer on the left, a fist raised and falling in slow motion. He hits the screen as if he’s trapped inside. To the right of Lancer is another image, a Hero bursting from the head of some massive beast. Below the two images there’s a message: To free Lancer spend 20 million units of Resonance. To unlock Slayer spend 20 millions units of Resonance.
Ac1d drags the notice window down, looks up to the top right of his screen where the number of Resonance he’s collected is shown. 72. I’m supposed to collect 20 million? What the…No, that can’t be right. He opens his chat window.
-Goldantuan: Yo, bud. What’re you going to put your Resonance towards?
-Ac1d: It’s a collective thing?
-Goldantuan: Yeah, of course it is. You think you were going to collect 20mil alone? Come on.
-Ac1d: I’m still not sure if I like how little is explained with this game. It’s kind of cool, but I feel like as soon as I learn one thing it changes.
-Goldantuan: Sounds like whining to me. I want Lancer back.
Ac1d shakes his head. No way, not after what JAX said this morning. That quote from Markus. If Lancer comes back he’ll be as broken as ever. I’m not helping make that happen at all.
-Goldantuan: You want to get a game in?
-Ac1d: Yeah, for sure. You got anyone else on?
-Goldantuan: aXotlgas, you play with her before?
-Ac1d: I don’t think so.
-Goldantuan: Only plays Capt. Lasher.
-Ac1d: Huh. Okay. Not a popular Hero. Sure, whatever, I’m down. I’ll invite you to a party.
-Goldantuan: Right on, let’s do it. Yesuhyesuhyesuh